Outcomes of Open Adoption From Care: An Australian Contribution to an International Debate.
Ward, Harriet. Moggach, Lynne. Tregeagle, Susan. Trivedi, Helen.
xxvi, 321 p.
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This book is based on the findings of a research study, funded by Barnardos Australia, that was designed to explore the outcomes of their program of open adoption from out-of-home care. The study focused on the 210 children and young people who were adopted through Barnardos Australia between 1987 and 2013. The researchers explored the characteristics, antecedents, and experiences of the birth parents, adoptive parents, and the children at the time they first entered their adoptive homes, and then traced the subsequent life trajectories of 93 (44%) of the adoptees until 2016, an average of 18 years after placement. Findings indicate: the adoptees all achieved legal permanence through their adoption orders and there is no evidence that any of them subsequently returned to out-of-home care; 56% of adoptees were still living with their adoptive parents, on average 13 years after placement, and 71% of those who had left, had done so for normative reasons; 12 adoptees had left their adoptive homes before their eighteenth birthday, indicating a relatively high breakdown rate of 13%; at follow-up, over two-thirds (70%) of them thought they fitted in well with their adoptive families and almost all ‘always’ or ‘mostly’ thought that adoption had been the right decision for them; 87% of adoptees had continuing contact with at least one birth parent; 60% of the adoptees and their parents found contact visits with birth parents problematic, and about one in three adoptees became very stressed before contact and their behavior deteriorated; and 69% of both adoptive parents and adoptees thought that regular face-to-face post adoption contact with birth parents had been beneficial. The book closes with a discussion on implications of the study for policy and practice. Numerous references.
Australia; Open adoption; Adoption services; Adopted children; Statistics; Data analysis